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 Reciting and Not Reciting the Buddha’s Name: A Profound Difference


       The Sutra of Ten Rebirths states:

If there are sentient beings who recite the name of Amitabha Buddha, aspiring for rebirth,
That Buddha will send forth twenty-five Bodhisattvas to safeguard the practitioners.

       'That Buddha' refers to Amitabha Buddha, who 'dispatches' or sends these twenty-five Bodhisattvas for protection. Not only does the Buddha come to their aid, but numerous Bodhisattvas come as well.

Whether moving or still, sitting or lying down, day or night, at all times and in every place,
The practitioners will not be troubled by evil spirits or malevolent deities.

       The protection offered by the Buddha and Bodhisattvas to the reciters is immeasurably more caring and vigilant than that of parents for their only child, exceeding it countless times.

       Although parents deeply love their children, their ability to protect them is limited. If you take a child to a bustling street, he could be off who knows where in the blink of an eye, despite your best efforts to keep him safe. The Buddha and Bodhisattvas, on the other hand, are different. They possess divine eyes, boundless compassion and illuminating wisdom. Twenty-five great Bodhisattvas follow you wherever you go like your shadows. See how poised and confident your steps are!

       An Amitabha-reciter walks with a lively spirit. Why is this? As you walk ahead, you are aware of the  twenty-five great Bodhisattvas behind you, and many Buddhas above. Naturally, you stride with confidence! The scripture says that a person who recites the name of the Buddha radiates light for forty miles, causing all evil spirits and malevolent gods to cower and flee, while benevolent spirits and gods bow in reverence, exclaiming, “Look, here comes an Amitabha-reciter!”

       Just as Master Shandao said of the Visualization Sutra:

If a person recites the name of Amituofo, pays homage to the Buddha, keeps him in mind, and aspires to be reborn in his Land of Ultimate Bliss, then Amituofo will dispatch innumerable emanations of Buddhas, as well as countless manifestations of Avalokitesvara and Mahasthamaprapta Bodhisattva, to watch over and accompany that practitioner.  This is in addition to the  twenty-five Bodhisattvas as previously mentioned in the The Rebirth Sutra. Amitabha-reciters will find themselves surrounded by these sacred beings, layer upon layer, at all times - whether walking, standing, sitting, or lying down, day or night. He is never alone.

       These sacred beings are ever-present, never leaving you alone. The only concern is your potential wavering of faith. Doubts such as “How can it be possible for me to gain so much benefit simply by reciting the Buddha’s name? Perhaps other practices are more effective…” When we have a change of heart, the protection of the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas will fade away, resulting in a great loss.

       Let me share with you the experience of Qing Minghui, a householder (lay Buddhist) from Beijing. After she became ill and received an injection in the hospital, she slipped into a coma. However, her consciousness was still acute. When she came round, she told everyone joyfully, “You know what? What I read about the twenty-five Bodhisattvas protecting Amitabha-reciters in the scriptures is true!”

       She genuinely saw Avalokiteshvara, Kṣitigarbha, Skanda, and many other Bodhisattvas she didn't recognize, all seated by her side, safeguarding and watching over her. That is indeed true. The words of the Buddha's scriptures are undeniably not false.

       Master Honen succinctly encapsulates this sentiment:

In the humble abode of Samadhi practice, though space is limited, it brims with countless sages.

       The place where we recite the Buddha’s name is called a Samadhi center. Here, in our own Samadhi center, the space may be small, yet it is spiritually vast, filled with innumerable sages who come in droves, squeezing themselves in. And why? To protect us.

Though the reciter’s thatched hut is narrow, it becomes a nexus for sages as numerous as the sands in the Ganges River.

       The collective presence of these sages turns even the most modest of places into a sanctuary of protection for Amitabha-reciters.

If one does not recite the Buddha’s name, not a single sage among the  multitude will come forth;
not one of the countless transformed Buddhas will arrive.
The vast difference between reciting and not reciting is worlds apart.
All practitioners should know.

       If we do not recite the Buddha, will these sages come? Not a single one will come. Not a single Buddha will come. But, if you do, all the Buddhas in the ten directions will extend their broad and long tongues and stretch out their hands to welcome you and deliver you. The stark contrast between practicing Amitabha-recitation and not practicing it is profound and cannot be overstated. So, we should always recite the name of Amituofo .

       Except from “On Nianfo” by Master Jingzong


(Translated by the Pure Land School Translation Team;
edited by Householder Fojin)



Master Huijing

Master Huijing

Master Jingzong

Master Jingzong

Guiding Principles

Faith in, and acceptance of, Amitabha’s deliverance
Single-minded recitation of Amitabha’s name
Aspiration to rebirth in Amitabha’s Pure Land
Comprehensive deliverance of all sentient beings